Breakthroughs, milestones and planning a road trip with an infant

So, today has been a slightly less screamy day so far, although I’d rather not speak too soon since her most screechy time is inevitably the tired afternoon, post-nap playtime. I will almost certainly help this along with a nice walk in the park and maybe a go on the swings as this improved yesterday no end. And I didn’t grit my teeth at all when she stopped screaming whilst playing with her Dad, oh no…

Anyway, today Ramona has decided to do the following:

  • Pull herself upright independently, clinging on to a table or bits of me, a handful of times.
  • Walk along, holding my hands, with increasing confidence.
  • Mimic back noises I make including ‘moo’.
  • Return kisses blown to her with very cute lip-smacking noises.

All of which are, obviously, good. She also taught me that she was happy to eat lunch as long as absolutely everything I gave her was finger food. I say ‘eat’, I mean ‘chew and drop’, but in the chaos of flying bits of lamb, cucumber, bread and banana, I think a few mouthfuls did actually get swallowed. And when I made ‘yum yum’ noises at her she rather sweetly shoved her piece of dribbled-on bread in my mouth. Moist, pre-chewed food is the way to go, folks…

Speaking of food, from six months I’ve been feeding her a mix of finger foods and stuff I can spoon into her mouth but she’s now rejecting the spoon unless she can feed herself with it (again, read: smear it around her mouth, with pure luck deciding how much actually goes in). So she was wearing quite a fetching pattern of lumps and Greek yogurt. She usually loves fruit so I added some canned peach bits to the yogurt but she decided to eat the yogurt and spit those out.

Is this the age where you realise every baby is just a toddler in training?

Anyway, I’m trying to focus on the positive today, and get on with getting ahead on the holiday prep. We don’t go for a month or so, but there’s a bit of an epic list of things to get through. I have a packing list and a ‘to buy’ list. The latter includes:

  • Enough ready made formula for the days in the car, there and back.
  • A few packs of disposable bottles.
  • Enough nappies for the days in the car, and swimming nappies for the days at the destination.
  • Jars of food and snacks for the journey in case there isn’t something appropriate on the road.
  • Contact lenses (okay, those are for me. I hate prescription sunglasses and I’m running short of dailies).
  • All the wipes in the world.

You don’t want to see the length of the packing list. As I’ll be in the car with both Whiffle and her grandparents and it’s not a barge or a tank, we’re probably going to look like we’re crossing Europe in Steptoe’s cart.

Honestly. I’m trying to be brutal and take what’s actually needed, not just what I think I need, but I fear leaving something out only to discover it’s absolutely crucial. I’m like Magrat in Carpe Jugulum, frantically packing to get herself and her infant daughter out of a castle full of vampires but nonetheless terrified to leave anything behind: “…and don’t forget the sponge shaped like a teddy bear. And the teddy bear shaped like a sponge.”

But at least it’s something positive to focus on. And it stops me stressing about the actual car trip bit because I’m going to be on my own (well, with my parents, but not with Ashley, is what I mean) for nearly four days. I’m so accustomed to relying on his never-wavering support, whether that’s emotional or practical, that I’m wetting myself at the thought of getting through the days there and back without him; he’s catching up by plane for the bit in the middle so he doesn’t need to miss work – and therefore getting paid – unnecessarily.

So, yes. Better shopping, packing and planning than stressing about screaming and dealing with her on my own. And honestly, what kind of mother is slightly scared of spending that much time being solely responsible for her child? Well, this one. But I do know who the parent is here, and I’m pretty sure babies smell fear and indecision, so I’m going to do my level best not to exhibit any.

Right. Time to go help ma with some spring cleaning while Whiffle sleeps off the five lumps of banana, two mouthfuls of lamb, single cucumber stick, lone piece of bread and four spoonfuls of yogurt she actually ingested.

Thank God she still likes her milk.


  1. I hope you make yourself laugh as much as you make me laugh. Because then you won’t explode. 🙂 Your parents will be Ashley stunt doubles for you, I’m sure. Or they’ll try. But it can be so hard to let go and trust. They did something right because look how amazing you are! I mean that. My ex-MIL was a wonder and I’d hand her any child at any time at any age. My mother and my MIL now? My oldest son is 24, an ex-Marine and most likely able to kill you 17 different ways with a spork but I still get queasy thinking of him alone with either of those women. But I think your folks are okay. And I know you are definitely okay.

    Food is a total body experience for toddler-y types, isn’t it? I sort of envy them. Cucumber and banana facials are all the rage, I’m told. She won’t look a day over 6 months!


    1. I try to keep a healthy sense of the ridiculous about these things so that my mind doesn’t dribble out of my ears like so much chicken soup… 😉

      Thank you for your words of encouragement… they matter more than you can ever know! 🙂 x


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